Friday, July 12, 2013

The Plague of Doves

by Louise Erdrich

What a disappointment. I went into this novel with high expectations after having read two previous novels by this author, but The Plague of Doves fell short for me. In general, the combined short stories within this novel tell the history of three generations of Indians living on reservation land in North Dakota and how a murder that occurred in 1911 intermingled the lives of all these families, as Mooshum tells his granddaughter, "nothing that happens, nothing, is not connected here by blood."
The book was just too disjointed with so many characters, who also had nicknames that made it difficult to keep up with and connect with them. There were also many different narrators, but it wasn't always clear who was telling or when a transition had been made. In addition, when the murderer is finally disclosed, it is very anti-climatic and leaves lots of unanswered questions.

On a side note, it seems that in order to publish a novel these days, you must include a homosexual encounter.... it's getting old, particularly when it serves no purpose in the development of the story.

I like the writing style of this author and I liked the previous books of hers I read: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse  and The Master Butcher's Singing Club. Try one of those instead. 

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